Monday, February 8, 2010

Lemon Coconut Cake Top Bread Pudding with Lemon Curd


This is really in opposition to pretty much everything else on this blog, and to the way that I usually eat, but as someone who wholeheartedly believes in occasional indulgence, and since this recipe idea has been cohering in my mind for several months, I am sharing it with you here. Probably the only health merit it has for a pregnant lady is the citrusy joy of the lemon curd. And the only merit it has for anyone else is the incomparable pleasure that he/she will have while eating it. So go forth and indulge, chers amis.

To give the tiniest bit of back story: November is the great birthday month in our family and so I necessarily did a lot of cake baking, and while doing so tossed all the cake tops (if you’re going to stack cakes you usually cut the tops off to make for even stacking surfaces) into a zip lock bag in the freezer, thinking that I might come up with an idea for them. Pretty quickly I thought, “What a devilish variation on bread pudding cake tops would make!” It wasn’t until I was in the throws of my particular first trimester cravings that I conceived of the lemon-coconut flavor idea.

When I finally did get started I had to make an extra 8-in layer of yellow cake because, truthfully, I had slyly been snacking from time to time on said frozen cake top bits. From there I modified Mark Bittman’s bread pudding recipe, as well as his lemon curd recipe (I cut the sugar in half to mediate the extra sweetness of the cake pudding). Here goes:

7 C yellow or white cake/cake tops cut into smallish chunks

3 C coconut milk

1/2 C sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3 eggs

juice and minced zest of one large lemon

Heat the coconut milk, sugar and salt until the simmering point, then pour over the cake; allow cake bits to sit for 5-10 minutes to absorb the milk. And here they are, soaking away:


In the meantime whisk the eggs briefly with the lemon juice and minced zest. Gently stir them into the cake-coconut mixture.


Spread this sloppy looking but truly delicious mess into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes (lower altitudes might need a few more minutes). The center should not be too jiggly and a knife inserted in the center should come out more or less clean (moist bits may cling, but nothing wet or eggy).


Serve with blessed lemon curd:

juice and minced zest of 3 medium lemons

1/2 C sugar

1 cube butter

3 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat lemon juice, zest, butter and sugar over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. In a slow steady stream whisk in the beaten eggs, making sure the heat stays very low. Continue stirring until the curd begins to thicken, about 6-8 minutes. I like the pass my curd through a sieve to remove any eggy bits, but this also takes out the zest—your choice. Chill the curd in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface (to avoid it forming a skin), until ready to serve.